Boost Student Data Literacy Skills with PocketLab and Activate Learning

Activate Learning Students

It’s no secret that data literacy skills are becoming increasingly important in our ever-changing digital world. The ability to collect, analyze and act on data is a critical skill for the next generation of scientists, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs. That’s why Activate Learning has joined forces with PocketLab to provide engaging online learning materials to educators at home and in the classroom. Let’s talk about the importance of data literacy skills when it comes to creating the ultimate classroom of the future!

Help Students Overcome Data Analysis Anxiety

According to the Department of Education STEM Resources, data literacy involves fostering mathematics, statistics, quantitative, media, and discipline-specific literacy to equip students with the knowledge and resources needed to make sound, informed decisions and to solve problems arising in their personal and professional lives as members of society.

One of the main reasons why data literacy skills are so important is because they can help students overcome data analysis anxiety. According to research, many students struggle to provide answers based on data and this can make the answers they provide either in a classroom, in an exam or in their future career, weak, inaccurate, or unconvincing. Yet, being able to make decisions based on data is an essential skill for success in the real world.

Suppose a student wants to become an engineer in the future. If they are asked to solve a problem and provide a solution or theory to resolve the issue, they must also carry out an investigation and provide their findings. From this research, they will be expected to put forward a solution with evidence to support it. Failing to do so will make them appear unprofessional and their argument will be less convincing.

Let’s take another example. Your child wants to pursue a career in artificial intelligence. This industry is desperately searching for critical thinkers and problem solvers. And to succeed, you will need to be able to carefully analyze data in order to identify recurring patterns, uncover bugs or internal issues and provide strategies that can be used to improve the algorithms you are working on.

In fact, in today’s society, digital media has made data more available to the public which further increases the importance of interpreting data and understanding it correctly, and analyzing how incorrectly presented data can lead to misinformation. And no child should be left behind in our data-driven society! By using gamification, real-world application, and engaging teaching aids for online classes, children can be given the support needed to learn how to use data to their advantage.

And if you’re not yet convinced about the importance of data literacy when it comes to designing the best classroom for the future, you should know that NSTA is committed to enhancing data literacy education. Even NSTA Houston has recently held a number of workshops dedicated to data literacy.


Activate Learning Forges New Partnership With PocketLab

In order to empower both educators and students alike, Activate Learning has forged a new partnership with PocketLab. As a hands-on, classroom-ready learning system, PocketLab engages STEM students by allowing them to gather sensor data in a more visible and dynamic way. By using a PocketLab device within a classroom environment, data becomes more relevant, interesting, and easier to analyze.

This new partnership will enable STEM students to benefit from an interactive online experience and work submitted can be graded by teachers who can then provide feedback and even share the data and analysis with the entire class.

Teacher and student using PocketLab.

US Department of Education STEM Resources & Data Literacy

In October of 2021, the US Department of Education hosted a virtual webinar with a panel led by Cindy Marten, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education that explored what federal, state, and local partners are doing to address data literacy skills gaps, and what resources exist to bring data education programs to your school.

To meet education and workforce goals, states must equip each and every classroom with a data-literate teacher and students with data discovery device. In doing so, you are effectively building a classroom for the future and supporting students who will need data literacy skills to secure the most in-demand and top-paid roles in the next 30 years.

In practice, this approach according to the webinar would involve a data collection device such as PocketLab and a process of interpretation in which individuals or groups can systematically explore interesting aspects of their worlds, ranging from health to culture. And there are also plenty of free online learning materials and teaching aids for online classes along with federal funding opportunities.

Empower Students For The Most In-Demand Careers

Data literacy is a non-negotiable. Students need this skill to succeed in their future careers and especially if they enter STEM field careers. Data literacy is set to be the most in-demand skill by 2030 as AI transforms global workplaces. It is likely to become a key aspect of many job roles; by 2025, according to recent reports and nearly 70% of employees are expected to use data at some level in their jobs, compared to 40% in 2018.

It’s true that employers are actively recruiting specifically for data literacy roles – but aren’t training for it. This means the responsibility falls on educators both in-classroom STEM teachers and homeschool parents to prioritize STEM and data literacy to prepare students for the world of work.

According to one study, there is such a lack of data literacy skills in society that those who are willing and able to improve their data literacy skills right now can foresee significant financial rewards, as C-level executives said they would offer a salary increase for data literate candidates.

Doubling Down On Data Literacy In Science Lessons

As machine learning, AI and robotics are introduced more and more into everyday life, STEM education and data literacy become increasingly important. So, giving teachers and students the tools they need to gain data literacy skills is essential for the evolution of technology and science. This is why our IQWST 3.0.1 edition and Prime K-5 Science curriculum for elementary school students works with PocketLab to bring STEM labs and lessons to life!


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Learn more about IQWST and PocketLab

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